Wages in the UK are rising faster than inflation figures released this morning show.
Earnings for employees, including bonuses, increased by 2.6% on the year in cash terms, but were unchanged after taking inflation into account according to the Office of National Statistics as the latest unemployment figures showed that 4.2% were out of work in the quarter to the end of March, down from 4.6% for a year earlier and the joint lowest since 1975.
Wage growth is now at its highest level for three years
There were 1.42 million unemployed people 46,000 fewer than for October to December 2017 and 116,000 fewer than for a year earlier while 32.34 million people were in work, 197,000 more than for October to December 2017 and 396,000 more than for a year earlier.
Senior ONS statistician Matt Hughes said: “With employment up again in the three months to March, the rate has hit a new record, with unemployment remaining at its lowest rate since 1975.
“The growth in employment is still being driven by UK nationals, with a slight drop over the past year in the number of foreign workers. It’s important to remember, though, that this isn’t a measure of migration.Growth in total pay remains in line with inflation, meaning real earnings are flat on the year.”
However Output-per-hour fell by 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the three months to March after a 0.7 percent rise in the fourth quarter of 2017, marking the biggest fall since late 2015 and denting hopes that British productivity was on the mend.